Communion was born in the Summer of 2006 at London’s Notting Hill Arts Club. Founded by Ben Lovett (Mumford and Sons), former Cherbourg bassist Kevin Jones, and acclaimed producer Ian Grimble, it quickly grew into a flourishing community of musicians and fans alike, providing a first independent platform for the freshest young artists on London’s circuit and beyond.
The monthly night has now seen the likes of Noah and the Whale, Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons, JJ Pistolet and Peggy Sue all grace the stage from the very start of their fledgling careers. It has also helped spawn the first steps for a diverse range of artists from Kurran and the Wolfnotes to Alan Pownall, The Holloways to King Charles, and Example to Josh Weller, all in keeping with the eclectic ethos that Communion has come to stand for.
Since its humble beginnings from a West London basement bar, Communion has branched out across the UK to Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, York, Oxford, Dublin and Belfast, and internationally to Sydney and New York City. Communion is now working closely with the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, The Camden Crawl, HMV’s Next Big Thing series, The NME awards, Belfast’s Open House Festival, and many more clubs and companies who all have a hand in promoting exciting new music to as big and broad an audience as possible.
Taking the blueprint of what has made Communion work so well, Communion Records was founded in September 2009 priding itself on creating a close working family in which to allow artists to develop at their own pace. Production on most releases is handled by Ben, Kevin and Ian themselves, involving other artists from the roster in the recording process for that community vibe. Communion has released, or is currently primed to release records by Marcus Foster, Matthew and the Atlas, Matt Corby, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Pete Roe, Rachel Sermanni and Andrew Davie. The label’s debut compilation record was released in April 2010 on beautiful gatefold vinyl, featuring rare recordings by Mumford and Sons, Johnny Flynn, Alessi’s Ark, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, JJ Pistolet (now of The Vaccines), and many, many more.
Looking for fresh ways to compile music that involves everyone, Communion took over the infamous Flowerpot venue in London’s Kentish Town in July 2010 to create a week-long series of collaborative recordings. Beyond the regular pool of young Communion friendly artists, established acts such as Angus and Julia Stone, Sarah Blasko, Mt. Desolation, Lissie, Damien Rice, and Kill It Kid alongside scores of other artists all wrote and performed together – The resulting opus is due for release on triple CD in March 2011, and is the finest example yet of the open-door policy of Communion’s creativity.
Continuing to evolve out of the sometimes faceless vacuum of the music industry for honest, independent champions of good music, Communion endeavours to fill that gap and push the boundaries of music well into 2012 and beyond.